If you are reading this page, you are likely an exhausted parent searching for answers and help. Perhaps you find yourself googling 'baby sleep help', or 'when will my baby sleep through the night?' True sleep disorders are rare, but many parents struggle with getting enough sleep due to their children fighting bedtime or waking frequently at night. Perhaps your baby is a cat-napper who only takes 30-60 minute naps and wakes up grumpy and still tired?
Sleep disturbances exist in many forms and occur in over 25% of all children and adolescents. Often parents start to feel very hopeless and depressed, and will question everything they do, wondering if they are ‘incapable’ or somehow doing something wrong. As confidence in their parenting abilities begins to decrease, sleeping conditions often worsen and the whole problem spirals downward. The first year of life is filled with so many changes for babies, and is such a time of rapid growth, that sleep often seems like an impossibility.
Improving naps and setting bedtime limits in a gentle, positive way helps infants and children develop healthy sleep habits while viewing sleep as a happy, peaceful time. Unlike sleep trainers who use cry-it-out methods, I believe you should never force a child into going to sleep or let them cry until they simply shut down. Through education, counseling, and positive support and guidance, I can help you learn how to work with your child and their natural, biological rhythms to reach their optimal potential.
My objective is to educate you on what is normal for your child’s developmental stage and to help you set realistic goals toward maximizing your sleep and your child’s.
Babies and children need to sleep, and they need to sleep a lot, in order for their bodies and brains to grow. They also need to trust their caregivers and feel safe in order to do so. Responsiveness is the key to a healthy parent-child relationship and provides a wonderful foundation for children to grow and thrive upon.
If you are concerned about your child's sleep problems, we can set up a consult that will allow me to get to know you and your situation. I will develop a customized approach to help support and guide you through the process of improving your baby's sleep habits. All information is evidence-based and research proven and I use only gentle methods designed to protect the trust and bond you and your baby/child have developed.
I do not subscribe to any one type of method. I believe that each family is unique and has unique situations that must be respected in all their complexities. My goal is to help your family improve your sleep through education and simple behavioral interventions, while not jeopardizing the bond you have with your baby.
Sleep disruptions exist in many forms and, like everything else in life, there is no “miracle cure” and no quick fix. There are, however, many ways to deal with these issues, often by making small, simple changes in your daily (and nightly) routine. Also, by arming yourself with information on what it really means to “sleep like a baby”, you will learn the tools, and gain the resources, to make changes in a positive way instead of forcing changes with a power struggle that will ultimately threaten the trust and bond you and your baby have developed.
In reality, it's not often the babies who have a sleep problem--it's the parents! Education and realistic expectations are key to getting a better night's sleep and listed below are some common situations that respond well to simple behavioral interventions.
As mentioned before, there is often no quick fix for sleep problems, but by carefully evaluating your situation, you can often come up with simple ways to make big changes in your baby’s sleep habits. However, you must remember that parenting simply comes with a healthy dose of fatigue no matter how much your child sleeps. Balancing childrearing, work, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc etc etc is just plain tiring!
Pantley, E.: The No-Cry Sleep Solution. New York, McGraw-Hill, 2002.
Gordon, J.: Good Nights. New York, St. Martin's Griffin, 2002.
Mindell, J., Owens, J.: A Clinical Guide to Pediatric Sleep: Diagnosis and Management of Sleep Problems. Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2003.
Pantley, E.: The No-Cry Nap Solution. New York, McGraw-Hill, 2009.
Sears, William, et al: The Baby Sleep Book.
Sears, W., Sears, M.: The Attachment Parenting Book.
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